Are You Afraid to Get Your Hopes Up?
I have been stuck thinking about the Where’s God? theme for the last couple weeks. Lately this has turned to what have we not asked God because we are afraid to get our hopes up? Let me set this line of thinking with a couple examples.
For the first example, there is a leader I know who had trusted God to bring healing for a dying loved one, yet the loved one still died. After which he continued to talk about God’s love and desire to act on a Christians’ behalf, but he did not seem to want to take people to that point of trusting God to actually come through. Every personal experience of God from that point on he ever mentioned was past tense. I imagine there are also other things going on, but you can see dilemma.
What Are You Afraid to Ask God For?
What are afraid to place in God’s hands for fear that He will not take care of it? What if God really seems to not come through?
The second example comes from the media. At a young age, Ted Turner, the cable network owner, wanted to become a missionary. Then as a teenager his sister became seriously ill. He spent an hour a day praying to God for her to get well. She eventually died a painful death. Turner thought, “how could God let my sister suffer so much?” This experience seems to have been the impetus for his atheism.
How Do We Deal With Unanswered Prayer?
What do we do? Sometimes God doesn’t heal. People do eventually die. There is evil in this world. How do I pray with faith and hope not knowing if God is going to come through for me?
We need to allow every encounter of life be an opportunity to draw us closer to Jesus and allow Him to interpret the events for us. So often we assume that the thing we are praying for is best.
That may or may not be the case. But if we are too upset with God for what happened or if we are too afraid to know God’s answer, we will not move towards Him. We will choose to believe that either the Bible is wrong about God, or that He is not trustworthy of things that matter the most to us.
Joseph Saw God’s Hand In Disappointment
Joseph had every right to think that God was out to get him. He had been separated from his father he loved and who loved him. His brothers turned on him and sold into slavery. When he was starting to make a living for himself, he was unjustly accused and sent to prison. Then you get to the end of Genesis and you see that he knew somehow through it all God had meant if for good.
If we have gone through pain, how do we trust God again? You need to have God interpret what happened to you. Truth is whatever God says is true, and that truth will set you free.
What Does God Say About Your Situation?
This is not power of positive thinking, because your mind won’t buy it. You need Jesus to speak to you about what He was doing during your painful situation. It will be different for each person. Sometimes He is crying with you. Sometimes He shows you He is with you. Sometimes He gives you a word of hope and encouragement.
You may not be at a place to hear God for yourself if the situation is too painful. If so, have someone pray with you to support you. Where two or three are gathered He is in your midst. Whatever you do, don’t distance yourself from God. He loves you more than you know. Go to Him. These are the touches we need to get us through. These are the touches we need to get us to believe again that He is good.
Do We Really Think God is Good
If you do not see God is good, you will not ask Him for things you care about. If you are afraid He will not come through, you will not persevere in prayer. If you are making excuses for God, you will believe in a God that wants to give you more than you even ask or imagine.
Don’t let past unanswered prayers linger in your mind and hinder your future. Go to God and allow Him to interpret them for you.
Thank you for this post. This is something that I have been struggling with for quite a long time, and the struggle has increased more since the transpiration of some events over this past year. I have grown considerably closer to Him as a result, but I still have a trouble with trusting Him. It’s actually very ironic that one of your last posts was about Jesus entrusting Himself to you if you trust Him, because that has been the theme of His words to me lately (through Bible passages and devotionals). It’s like He is pursuing me to trust Him. I like it, because it shows He wants to be close to me and notices me. But I think trust is one of the hardest things for me, because I am afraid if I do, I will get hurt. I am very afraid of His will, because it seems whenever His will happens, I get hurt in someway. I do have a question, though. You mentioned to go to God and let Him interpret your circumstances. How exactly do you do that? And how do you know when God is answering you?
Thank you for answering my questions.
Thank you for sharing. Trust can be hard especially when God is taking you new places in Him. However, it sounds that God is leading you and is helping you in this process. That is the perfect place to be. It shows you trust Him enough to be willing to trust even if fear is there.
Your question is a very good one. We are conditioned to interpret life by what we see and have experienced. However, God wants to be the one to interpret this for us. Think of Elisha being surrounded by the army. His servant is scared because His interprets impending doom. Elisha sees God’s interpretation, which is an army of angels surrounding Him. When we believe Jesus is the truth, we have to allow His truth to trump all other interpretations.
You question is good because it is very practical. It is opening ourselves up to hear His voice. What does God have to say about this? For me, I often confess in prayer what I feel about a situation to acknowledge my interpretations. Then I recommit my dependance on Jesus for determining the truth and ask how He sees it. I don’t always get an answer, sometimes it is in a day or two, but often I do feel He gives me a way to see the situation. I don’t always know it is right, but if it doesn’t contradict who God is, I trust by faith that I asked and He answered. I don’t go around saying this is God, but I do move forward as if it was from Him. There is a balance of being willing to be wrong and holding on to faith in what you feel God said. It is good to share this with others who know God and hear from Him to get their feedback.
The more you ask, the more you get used to God’s answers. You may not know what He will say, but when He speaks, you can see God saying something like this.
Let me end with an example. My wife and I are starting a new venture in Asia. We have hit many obstacles and roadblocks. My wife was getting discouraged and wanted to hear from God. She told Him how she was feeling and asked His view of the situation. She felt like He said, “this can’t not succeed.” My wife teaches English and knows this is not a sentence she would have put together. The statement gave encouragement and hope. It felt like God. Was it God? Could she have gotten it wrong? Possibly. But it encouraged her faith, gave her hope, and ignited a great love of Jesus. Sounds like what God would want.
Hope all this helps.
Thanks for your reply.
What you say does kind of help. I guess I should just try it and see what happens. I just get overcome by fear a lot. Will you pray for me?
Thank you for always taking the time to answer.
Absolutely. Rest assured, Jesus wants it more than you. He wants us to hear Him clearly.
Thanks for the post